We all experience negative emotions once in a while, but it is important for us to be able to handle those emotions in a healthy and effective way. Sometimes, we may feel the urge to respond to our emotions in ways that might worsen the situation, such as getting into an argument with a parent, or start a fight with another student. That is why it is so important for us to practice the skills needed for us to better manage our emotions, and control our behavior.
Emotion regulation is a process that involves cognitive reappraisal, future planning and the understanding of behavioral consequences ( Hsieh & Chen, 2017 ). It may not be easy for some people to stop feeling certain emotions, however, the ability to regulate and control negative emotions can be learned and practiced ( Hsieh & Chen, 2017 ).
Mindfulness meditation has been found to affect human heart rate, and blood pressure. Which can have a great effect on how you are feeling.
Studies have proven that those who have good emotion regulation has reduced aggressive behavior, and can significantly benefit those individuals with low inhibitory control ( Hsieh & Chen, 2017 ).
When it comes to feelings of anger, it was found that expressing your anger can in fact make your feelings worse ( Hsieh & Chen, 2017 ). This is because of an internal feedback loop that occurs when you act out your anger. The best thing to do during situations like this is to sit quietly, and allow your mind to calm down. Give yourself some time in a peaceful environment where you can manage your feelings.
Inhibitory control is the ability to suppress a strong urge to act (Hsieh & Chen, 2017). For example, has someone made you so angry that you wanted to punch them? Or maybe something upset you so much that you wanted to scream out loud in public. Hopefully you didn’t act out those actions like those described previously. Those actions can result in worse consequences so it is important be able to control your own actions well.
So before you commit to certain actions, think about how that action will affect those around you. Also think about what might happen in the future. Train yourself to plan ahead and consider X, Y, Z.
Note: The Free Your Mind Mental Health Society is an independent youth-led organization. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In the event of a medical emergency, please call your doctor or 911 or other local emergency numbers immediately.
Hsieh I-J, Chen YY (2017) Determinants of aggressive behavior: Interactive effects of emotional regulation and inhibitory control. PLoS ONE 12(4): e0175651. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175651